Patient Drake Spiteri was faced with a possible future without soccer, when he was diagnosed with a bone infection in his leg. UC Davis Children's Hospital and Sacramento Republic FC helped get him back onto the road to recovery.
existing between two beautiful rivers and beneath a spectacular canopy of trees lies the capital of California, Sacramento, the Indomitable City. Through unfathomable odds, it has been the people of Sacramento that are and have always been indomitable. It just takes the bravery and courage of one person to unite the many and inspire their greatness. Thistle is the story of one such person. Ah, brave boy, focused and determined, Ah boy with unconquerable will one boy, one team, one hospital And how chance brought them together to inspire greatness and help realize a boy's dream. Drakes, a kid, that he loves sports. And he just had made a competitive soccer team. He came home and said, You know, Mom, I my leg or my ankle hurts. Something is hurting. I don't really know what it is and drinks. Not really a complainer. It started waking him up at night. The pain. We took him to his pediatrician on a Monday morning and he said, his legs really hot. I think there's something not good going on here. I'm gonna do some preliminary tests, but I need you guys to go down to U C. Davis right away. It was just a very fearful time. It was one of those things where we didn't have a lot of answers and waken tell by the way that they were moving things along and took it serious that, Hey, this is something that is not your normal ankle Spring He had infection of his bone, which we call osteomyelitis. Are specialists or radiologists were all able to make the diagnosis? Andi start treatment right away. I don't know if any parent that has to watch their kids going surgery could ever go into it calm and collected. I know that. You know, there was a lot of time that we were staring at each other, going, Oh my God, what's going on? And it feels like the ball of strings unraveling right before your eyes. U. C Davis works really hard to make this a comfortable, fun place as much as it can be. So we have a lot of different specialties working hand in hand to take care of kids here. They all really work together, and they really shared with us. They didn't keep anything from us, and that's the thing about medicine. I think that's really cool. Is that you're privileged to be part of a intimate part of someone's life. And, you know, drinking's family were really kind to me and let me be a part of that. They treated us like we were family. Well, there they knew that it was a big thing for our family, and they really treated us well. So I think that that will stay with me. One of their first questions was, Is he gonna be able to play soccer again? Andi, I think that was for Drake was the most important thing. E. Just wanted to get through it as fast as possible, get back to playing soccer. I think he was confused. I think he just wasn't quite sure. And he immediately went Thio, What do you mean? I have to get to practice. Monday, he was scared, and he immediately lost the being scared part with talking about soccer. He became very animated about soccer. He clearly like to soccer and that was his passion. I came out of surgery and way saw a note that's it West from in Sacramento, Republic players visiting the first time I met Drake and his family, I walked into the room and the Sacher public team was walking out, and he had a huge smile on his face. Really, Soccer players coming to visit a child in the hospital was recouping, Who loves soccer but never really thought of maybe making it big or playing professionally. I think you know, the wheels started turning for us to have the opportunity to kind of give back in a way where we could go into these hospitals. And, you know, even if we just brighten the kids day for that five minutes were there, you know, it's it's a it's a big thing for us, and it's something we look forward to doing. That sort of gave him something and to look forward to knowing that at the end of this he would be able to get back to what he loves to dio. For him to have that desire to get back and to do the rehab and go through all that you know, it shows how strong of a person that Drake is as we started rehabbing them slowly, you know, we kind of had a goal in mind. Hey, let's see. We've always told him there's bigger things than life then soccer. But if that's what you want to do, you know, set your goal and work towards it. And that's kind of what he did when he walked on that field that night, Justin Braun walked right up to him and said, Hey, are you Drake? The have opportunity toe walk out on the field with Drake wasn't honor. You know he's come such a long way. To his credit, he's real strong. He was real brave through the whole thing, and he left his parents and held the hand of a player and went out in the field, all on his own. And they, you know, it's just really, really neat. It's huge, especially for families with with kids that are going through things like that, have a hospital that they know they can count on. They know they can. You know when they show up they're gonna have the best care that's available to their Children is something that I think is a big, big for these people, and it's big for the city to know it's there. You see Davis setting up things like that where they can come and visit the Children. You know whether or not. You're a soccer fan. I think it's still special. But for Drake, it really hit home with him and really sparked something. It was one of those things. It was like a catalyst to say, Hey, sometimes bad things happen, but sometimes great things happen because of it. I don't think we would have felt this comfortable anywhere else. And I talked to people all the time about used to Davis and how it's really one of a kind. They made a big difference in our lives and will always be thankful for that.